Territory Stories

OmbudsmanNT Investigation Report Matters arising from allegations of inappropriate conduct by a former Commissioner of Police and another police officer May 2015



OmbudsmanNT Investigation Report Matters arising from allegations of inappropriate conduct by a former Commissioner of Police and another police officer May 2015

Other title

Tabled paper 1378


Tabled Papers for 12th Assembly 2012 - 2016; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT




Tabled by Adam Giles


Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.




Tabled papers

File type




Copyright owner

See publication



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

23 Chapter 4 - Improvements to existing systems 141. Having discussed above the efficacy of existing mechanisms for reporting and investigation of issues relating to police conduct, I believe it is important to consider how they operate at a practical level. 142. I address issues specific to identifying and investigating Ombudsman complaints in the next chapter. In this chapter, I consider steps that can be taken to improve support for police who report integrity concerns about other police and the level of awareness within NT Police of options for reporting. Commending police who report concerns about police integrity issues 143. I approach these issues on the basis of four core premises which require some discussion: 1. Police who report concerns about other police should be commended for their contribution to maintaining the effectiveness, integrity and reputation of the Force. 2. This is equally true whether or not the concern is eventually shown to have substance, so long as there is some reasonable basis for the concern. The real benefit for NT Police is in having concerns aired and addressed, whether substantiated or not. 3. Police who seek advice from, or report concerns to, an appropriate external body in serious and complex situations should equally be commended for the same reasons. 4. Senior officers must accept that it is part of their role and responsibilities to report reasonable concerns to external bodies. 144. As to the first point, raising integrity issues about a fellow officer is a challenging and uncomfortable experience. There will be a natural temptation to let sleeping dogs lie. Appropriate reporting of concerns, particularly about senior officers, can be viewed as an act of bravery. 145. There must be an environment in which asking questions, even difficult and uncomfortable ones, is not taken as a challenge to authority or professionalism but accepted as part of a process of establishing best practice. The contribution of officers who are willing to raise integrity issues must be acknowledged. 146. As to the second point, an officer who makes a report is sometimes criticised because he or she doesnt have all the facts, doesnt see the bigger picture or has simply got the wrong end of the stick. This can be true. An officer who discovers information that raises a concern will often know only part of the story. However, this is not a valid reason for failing to raise an issue with an appropriate authority, so long as there is some reasonable basis for asking the question. 147. It is vital for the proper functioning of the Police that, where there is a reasonable question about an integrity issue, it be answered as soon as possible. It can then be addressed and negatived, explained or appropriate steps taken to deal with it. Delay or failure to deal with concerns of this type can only exacerbate the potential for problems over time, whether or not there is any foundation to the concern.